Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 08

Goodness, long time, no blog!

How was everyone's Christmas? I hope you all had a wonderful day. And thank you to Dani and Kim for the great Christmas cards! Your kids are all adorable. :o)

I figured I better post at least a few pictures... I'm just never in the mood these days to sit and upload pictures, it seems to take so long.

We had a wonderful Christmas. We're all horribly spoiled, and I love it. LOL The girls each got a gift from Santa that Chloe had asked for - she got her Baby Alive (I found it for $20 on Amazon, w00t!) and Cora got twin baby dolls. Santa left them unwrapped under the tree, with big bows on them. I need to upload the video of Chloe seeing Baby Alive - she's wanted that doll for the past year, and is SO happy to have her. And Cora didn't see any reason to open any other presents, she was perfectly happy with her new babies.

My husband gave me the string of pearls I had mentioned I'd like to have - they are so beautiful. And a digital picture frame, some perfume, fur boots, Bath & Body works goodies... see? He spoils me. :o)

He got an iPod, a Swiss tool, some other things he'd said he wanted. And I got him a guitar book of the 100 top country songs of all time, which I've enjoyed tremendously already.

It was a good Christmas. I'm glad it's over, but it was really, really fun.

Love this pic: she's waiting for Baby Alive to finish going potty. LOL

Sunday, December 21, 2008


When we went to see Twilight in the theater a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't help but notice all of the wonderful knitted items the actors were wearing, and I was enthralled with Bella's mittens. I've been lusting after them ever since, but didn't figure I'd ever be able to suss out a pattern for them, and then..... ta da! Check these out. Aren't they awesome!? I NEED those mittens. I've knitted so many things for other people lately, I've decided I deserve to make something for myself.


Chloe went to Mark's Friday night, and got home Saturday morning. I asked her "How was your dad's house", just like I always do. She said "Good, but we didn't go to my dad's house. We spent the night at silver Grammy's house." Then she laughed, "It was funny. Even B was there." B is the cat. Now, is it just me, or is it a little strange that they would take the cat over there for a slumber party? I asked her some other questions: Were all of her things there? She said most of her things were in Grammy's garage, but all of Quinn's toys were there. Hmm. That coupled with the fact that he recently got a cell phone, which I just realized is his mother's old cell number helped me put two and two together.

He's living with his mother now, along with his girlfriend and their baby. I called him to confirm it. His reason? "My mom was having a hard time paying all of her bills, so we moved in to help her out." Oh, for the love of God, why can't he at LEAST accept responsibility for himself and stop putting everything on someone else? I'm kind of in shock, I'm kind of gloating, and I'm kind of irritated. I can't help but snicker a little bit, ya know? When he and I were married, we'd just bought a house. I had to drag him out of bed, force him to look for work, but I did, and we got along alright. As soon as I left, he lost the house, lost his car, eventually got evicted from one apartment, and now apparently lost another. He has very little left in his life. I wonder how long his girlfriend will hold out before she realizes he's a loser and leaves him.

He asked yesterday if he could have Chloe during the day for awhile on Christmas Eve. I told him I'd check our schedule and get back to him, then called him later to tell him he could have her the day after Christmas instead. He didn't argue. He's given up on thinking he has any rights, I think. He hasn't paid child support in a year, so it's up to like 3 grand. He's never provided health insurance for her, like the court order says he has to. And ya know, the more I stand up to him and tell him how it's going to be, the easier it gets. For five years I tiptoed around, doing everything I could to keep him happy so I wouldn't have to deal with the stormy little tantrums he'd have. It's taken some practice for me to realize I dont' have to do that any more. And it feels great.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm..... bored.

I accomplished more in the last three hours of yesterday than I have in the past three weeks. Why? I finished the Twlight series AND I finished all of my Christmas knitting yesterday. Ack! What do I do with my spare time?

Chloe went to Mark's last night. I used the time to organize and clean out her closet and book shelves, throwing away all the bits and pieces, McDonald's toys, and other junk. I don't want to have a pile of Christmas presents with nowhere to put them. In the process of that, I made her an "I'm Bored" list: all of the things in her room she never really uses because they kind of get forgotten. Puzzles, beads, tracing paper, board games. Now, when she tells me there is nothing to do, I'm going to make her choose something from the list. Either she'll enjoy it, or she'll stop telling me she's bored. At least, that's the plan.

After organizing, I also went through the three tubs full of 18-month sized clothing in the basement, pulled out the winter things we can use now, since Littlest Miss is growing longer by the minute, and put it all in the washer. Today I'll pull the too-small things and put those in their appropriate tubs.

Did I ever explain how we do that? It's the greatest organizational system ever. I started it when Chloe was born, and have kept it up since then. One of our basement walls is lined with large Rubbermaid-type tubs stacked about four high. Each tub is labeled: 3-6 month, 6-9 month, 12 month, etc. Sometimes there are two sizes in one tub, or more than two tubs per size, but you get the gist. There's also one for maternity clothes, diapers, shoes, etc. The label is always visible as soon as you look at the tub, right there on the outside in big black letters. So when Cora grows into a new size, I pull the tubs, take out what I want, and put them back. Then the outgrown stuff goes into the appropriate tub to be used if we ever could manage to produce another girl. It's so effective, and makes things so easy. And if we never do get to have another girl, everything will be neatly organized when I set forth to sell the clothing, likely making a killing because we have enough baby girl clothes to outfit an entire small nation.


Littlest Miss is at that incredible age where she is more than happy to help Momma with whatever she can. Time to clean up? Sure, she'll help! Folding laundry? Washing dishes? She's always by my side.

And that means it takes 15 times longer to accomplish anything. Babies have this keen ability to generalize EVERYTHING. She knows when we change her out of her jammies or into them that the clothes she was wearing go into the laundry basket. But she has no ability to distinguish between dirty and clean. This means she puts every piece of clothing she can find into the laundry basket, waiting for me encouraging cheers. Yesterday she had the bottom drawer of my dresser open and was carefully moving each clean piece of clothing into the laundry pile. She I saw her, she gave me that "I'm such a BIG girl! I'm Mommy's helper!" look and I couldn't help but smile. Then I moved everything back into the drawer. When she saw this, she changed her method: she began moving each bit of dirty laundry from the basket into my pajama drawer. ;o)

Dishes are especially fun. She loves the silverware. I pile the silverware on the open door of the dishwasher and she is supposed to put them in the silverware holder, which she does, on occasion. Mostly though, she'd rather steal the silverware and stash it somewhere - under a bed, in her toy basket, anywhere besides where it ought to be. Or, she'll throw it all deep into the back of the dishwasher and giggle while i grunt and groan trying to fish it out.

She loves to hear me cheer when she throws trash in the trash can. Of course, she doesn't distinguish between "trash" and "Important Paper", but she keeps trying. I've lost knitting patterns, receipts I intended to save, some of Chloe's drawings, a grocery list.... It's almost time to put the trash can in a cupboard or closet somewhere, I'm afraid.

And then there's the drama. When you tell her no about something, she puts her hand over her face and whimpers. And then she separates two fingers and peeks out between them to make sure you're watching her performance.

This toddler stage is definitely not my favorite stage. It makes me mildly crazy. But oh, there are some adorable parts to it! She has so much personality now.. :o)

Friday, December 19, 2008

PMS and cookies

I was mean yesterday. Mean and cranky and even bitchy. I didn't realize until later in the afternoon that it was PMS. So at least I have an excuse, right?

But I was not in any shape to deal with a fussy, whiny baby and a demanding and impatient little girl. I did my best, but I snapped at both of them a few times, and I feel kinda bad. No, really bad. I need to find some way to get my moods under control when the hormones are raging.


So Chloe's got this new thing - she asks me for something, I say "later" or "not right now" or whatever, so she proceeds to ask me fifteen hundred million times for the same damn thing in the course of just a few minutes. Did I already complain about this new trait? It sounds familiar when I type it....

Yesterday, she got it in her head that she wanted to bake cookies. She said "I have my own recipe I want to try out." She does that a lot, and it ends up with me helping her read a recipe that she picks out of a cookbook, and then doing most of the work. It's fun, she enjoys it, usually I do too. But I had some stuff to do yesterday, not really any time to bake cookies, and besides, we have about 8 dozen cookies on hand still.

Finally I pulled the Kitchen-Aid out, put a step stool up to it, and told her to go for it. She asked if I was going to help a little, but I said no (cranky PMS mood, ya know), but tell me when she wanted the oven on. She did ask for one other thing - to get the butter and melt half a stick for her in the microwave, because she couldn't reach that with the step stool.

She was done soon enough. And to my amazement, the result was.... cookies. No recipe, no help from me, and she made cookies. She used flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. She made up her own measurements. I usually just estimate on salt by pouring it in my hand, then into the bowl. She did the same thing, and, err.. over estimated. So her cookies were a little salty. And when we baked them, they spread out a lot and ran into each other. But seriously, how many five year olds in the world would be capable of successfully making cookies on their own like that? I'm proud. They ate them for snack, and for dessert, and Chloe was full of pride.


I'm hoping today is a better day. I don't like being cranky, and I know my kids don't like it either. It didn't help that I was up past midnight reading the last book of the Twilight series. I've got 50 pages left of book four. I've read 700 pages in two days. My house is neglected. I need to finish these books so I can have my life back! LOL I slept in a little this morning, but I'm promising myself I wont' read until the kids are in bed. We have grocery shopping to do, and laundry to fold... and snow to play in.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

so about me saying I love snow... let me edit that slightly.

I love it when there is enough snow to play in - to build snow men, snow angels, snowball fights, all that fun stuff.

Snow just irritates me when there is just enough to make it slick outside, and then freezes solid.

We're supposed to be having this huge snowstorm right now. The sky is all aglow and sort of tinted pink, a sure sign of snow. But there isn't enough falling to make a difference, except that I fell on my rear end trying to walk to the trash can.


I want it to dump 8 inches on us. Oh but wait.... this is the desert. Not likely.


I got all of my Christmas cards addressed and ready last night. I have to pick up our holiday pictures from Wal Mart today (we took our own, at my parents' house Sunday.) I'll post the pictures soon.

Ashley came by on Sunday and asked if I'd make a hat for her friend's mom for Christmas. Why do people wait until the last minute to make requests like that? :::sigh::: And of course, I told her I'd do it. What's one more hat? Except that I still have another hat to finish, and a sock... Ah well, I perform well under pressure.


A couple times a year, I bake sugar cookies. The kind with lots of different colored frostings, sprinkles and glitter and candies. That's usually enough to remind me for several months how much I hate making sugar cookies.

I didn't understand it at first - decorating sugar cookies is one of my very favorite holiday memories from when I was a kid. Why do I hate it so much now? Then I remembered... I'm the mom now. I have to bake the cookies, clean up the mess, make the frosting, clean up the mess, frost the cookies (with help from little girls), clean up the mess....

It was much cooler when I was little, and all I had to do was frost the cookies. I wish my mom would come over and do all the other yucky stuff for me. :oP


Andrew told me last night it looks like they're taking away his weeks off again, probably permanently this time. I'm disappointed. I love his weeks off. I love traveling and camping and having lots of down time to just enjoy each other. I've gotten very spoiled - what on earth do people do when they don't have weeks off? How do they find time to do fun things? I absolutely refuse to do anything on weekends, since I'm anti-social. They might end up with a rotating 6 on, 3 off schedule. I suppose it would be bearable, but I'm still not happy about it. :o(

Sunday, December 14, 2008


No matter how old I get, I still get all twittery inside when I wake up to a blanket of snow covering the ground. :o)

The weather report says it will snow all week. I hope they're right for once, because I need some good ol' fashioned play-in-the-snow time. Snow men and snow angels and all that fun stuff. And I cant' wait to stick Cora out in it and see what she thinks.


We went to dinner at a new friend's house yesterday. The girl I met that was telling me how Andrew's mother had me made out to be a two penny hussy... yeah, her house. We had dinner with her husband and their kids, it was nice. We don't normally do stuff like that, but it worked out. We'll probably reciprocate and have them over next month, after the holidays.


I wrapped Christmas presents yesterday. I still have more to do, but wanted to get a start on it. I love wrapping Christmas presents with a sort of twisted passion. You're not supposed to like it - people pay other people to do it for them, right? But secretly, I've always thought that being one of those people behind the wrapping counter would be tremendous fun. ;o)


I'm holding my breath, waiting to find out if something bad is going to happen this year - it seems like ever year, something terrible happens in the winter. My brother died in January, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January, Chloe was born 3 months early... in January. If anything bad happens, it's always right before or right after Christmas. I could really use a year that doesn't have something awful in it. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


I think we're gonna brave the snow and head to my parents' house for breakfast (and hopefully our annual family Christmas pictures) so I better go get ready.

Friday, December 12, 2008


So we're having our cocktail party tonight. Chloe's going to her dad's house. Cora was going to my mom's, but my dad is sick so my mom doesn't want her over there getting whatever he's got. So I'm stuck taking care of a one year old why trying to entertain people. I have a feeling it's not going to be much fun after all. :-\ I'm going to get everything set up and ready so that at six, I can go somewhere with Cora for awhile and hopefully get her to sleep, then bring her home and hope she stays asleep. She's usually in bed around seven anyway, but I doubt she'll stay in bed. Blah, no fun. I should wait until my children are grown before I try to do things like this.


Well, I'm off to get showered. Gotta grocery shop and get the house all together before this evening. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In love with a vampire :o)

A friend of mine recently told me she was reading the Twilight series of books and offered to loan me the first one. I've heard about Twilight - teeny boppers across the nation are obsessed with these books, and the movie that just hit theaters a couple of weeks ago. I rolled my eyes. Seriously now, a vampire love story? Give me a break. Why on earth would I waste my time reading a vampire love story?

But I started reading the book at lunch one day, for lack of any other reading material close by. By the third page I was hooked, sucked in, couldn't put it down. Oh, I love when that happens. I neglected housework, did everything I could to keep my kids happy (You want candy? Sure, have candy. Just be quiet and let me read!) I finished the first book two days later. I'm on book two now, though it's slower going since my husband's home this week.

Anyway, seriously, these books are fabulous. I don't find books that I really love like this very often. I just can't get over them. Any book that can make you giggle hysterically, cry, yell and curse is totally a book worth reading.

We went and saw the movie yesterday (a date! it was splendid!) If you're thinking of seeing the movie, but haven't read the book, I'm afraid you'll be sadly disappointed. You just can't turn that book into a two hour long movie, and still get the real points across. Go get yourself a copy of the book. Overlook the fact that you're about to read a book about a vampire, and just have a go at it. It's so absolutely worth your time.


We have been SO busy lately! It seems like there's something to do every day, though I guess really there hasn't been too much. We're having Andrew's family over for dinner tonight, we're having a cocktail party at our house tomorrow, and we're going to dinner at another friend's house Saturday. Sunday we'll try to recoup a little, and then Andrew's back to work for a week. it looks like he might be switching weeks off, which would mean he'd have the whole week of Christmas off. I'm hoping the change becomes official, because I'd love to have him home that week.

Planning a cocktail party is stressing me out, though I don't know why. It's the kind of stress that I thrive on though. It should be great fun, we'll have some good holiday drinks, some yummy snacks, and some friends... mostly guys from Andrew's crew at work, but whatever. It should still be pleasant.


I s'pose that's all for now. My life just isn't interesting enough to write much about these days!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Smitten :o)

Two days ago, I was in tears, convinced that I was a crazy person for ever having a second child and that I was just not cut out to be a mother. It was a rough day.

Today, after two splendid days with my kids, I'm once again certain that I am the mother of the two sweetest, cutest little girls in all the world.

Cora is a flippin' riot. She's so smart! She understands nearly all of what we're saying, I'm sure, but pretends not to because she can still get away with it. I'm teaching her a terrible habit, because every time she does something and I tell her not to, and she gives me that cute little "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying" look and proceeds to do it anyway, I just laugh. How can I not? She's just too stinkin' cute. She's going to get away with anything she wants, I can see it already.


As would any responsible mother, I have tried to instill a general appreciation for healthy foods in my girls.

I have failed miserably.

They are both candy-holics! How on earth did this happen? In a house filled with fresh grapes, bananas, oranges, apples, and carrots, and whole wheat breads and organic snacks, they are able to find every single piece of processed sugar in the house. They're both also mastering the "wear down your enemy" tactic. "Mom, can I have candy?" "No, not until after lunch." "Mom, can I have candy?" (five minutes later.) By the fiftieth time, I've either yelled, threatened to throw away every piece of candy in the house, or given in. Sadly, the latter is probably the most common. And it's not any better with Cora, who has the exact same wants, just not so many words. "Uh?" (She points to the candy, smacks herself on the head, and does the sign for 'more'.) "No, Cora, you have to wait until after lunch." (A toddler-tantrum ensues, with her face down on the floor and whimpering, or saying "Hmphh.")

Of the four advent calendars in our home, none of them has the proper number of candies left. Chloe actually got a time out the other day for sneaking life savers off of one of them. Cora realized earlier that I'd hung some candy canes on the Christmas tree. She proceeded to try climbing the tree, and when she realized that was a futile attempt, she retrieved the stool from the bathroom to try and get up just a little higher. I can't stop them! It's as though they crave sugar! (My mother-in-law would probably cry if she saw them.)

Since it's Christmastime, there are little jars of candy here and there all over the house. Cora can tell you where each of them is.

"I'm not going after the candy, Mom!" (Note the jar of candy near the lamp on the end table...)

"I'm just here to snuggle with Isabel."

"Ha ha! Tricked ya!" (This is where I should scold her... but isn't she just so cute?!)

I tried, but failed, to get a good picture of my goofy kid walking around with stolen chocolates, still wrapped, in her mouth. So I'm sharing the not-so-good picture.

She knew there was chocolate inside. She just couldn't figure out how to get to it. Until...

Yep, wrapper and all. See, I told you! My kids are candy-holics. So much so that they'll even eat wrappers. I hope that gold foil isn't toxic...

Finally, some recent FO's

It's been awhile since I took any pictures of stuff! I forgot to take a photo of my little brother's hat, I'll have to do that later.

Here's Tori's scarf. I hate fun fur. It's perfect for a little girl though.

Lionbrand Fun Fur prints, size 15 needles, 18 sts, plain knitting.

Taylor's sock (I'm working on the second one now.)

Red Heart Heart&Sole, pastel watercolors colorway, size 1 needles, using Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's "basic sock recipe".

I made my kids Christmas aprons, just 'cuz I can. I want to make one for me, too. :o)

The Uber-comfy sweater. (I finished this back when Andrew was hunting.)
Size 10 needles, Lionbrand Homespun in "Tudor". Standard women's size 34 raglan top-down seamless sweater, pattern created as an experiment in KnitWare.

Ashley's Foliage hat:

She's been asking for me to knit her something since I met her. Her birthday is Monday.

Foliage, from, chunky yarn size. Size 10.5 needles, Lamb's Pride Superwash Bulky.

That's all for now. :o)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Time flies...

Some old pictures I'm including on my parents' photo memory card...

My mother LOVED to dress me up like a baby doll.
My brother Benny, and I, probably about 1985

One of my mom's favorite pictures of me...
That one was in middle school, I think I was 12.

I've scanned something like 40 family pictures of all us kids and my parents so far. I need to get over there and get more photos, but it's hard to do without them knowing! My parents did some neat stuff when they were a little younger, going to Jamaica, Hong Kong, Hawaii, and several cruises. I want to find those photos and get them scanned too. Thankfully, my mom did a good job back then of putting photos into albums, and I know where to find them.


So what's with little babies that don't sleep? Oy. Cora was up at 4:30 yesterday morning, and proceeded to whine and hang on my skirt all day long, except for the two hours Ashley and I took the kids to KidzPlex. Today, she was up at five, but is still just laying in bed drinking her juice. I hope she's happier today than she was yesterday. Yesterday was rough. I was SO done by the end of the day. :o( I hate feeling that way. I always say though that I like babies, when they are helpless and sweet, and then I like them again when they can be reasoned with, about the age of three. This in-between stage when they are walking and starting to talk but really pushing their boundaries, it makes me crazy. There are fun times, to be sure, but it's not my favorite age.

And did I mention Miss Cora is finally walking? She's been able to for a few months now, but she's doing it all the time now, has been for about three days. It's hilarious, she looks like a drunk, she's totally wobbly still. :o) It's fun to watch her try and keep up with her sister.

Thankfully, it seems like now that Cora is getting into this difficult age, Chloe is making her way into an easier age. She's been SO good lately. She's been helping around the house willingly, even offering to. She's been so patient with her baby sister and is always trying to help with her. She's had a great attitude lately and hasn't been talking back or pouting and such like she was there for awhile. I'm crossing my fingers that six is going to be an easy age.


I've officially given up on getting two pairs of socks knitted for my cousins for Christmas. I was getting so stressed out trying to knit for three or four hours each day, and I don't want to be stressed out, so I'm letting it go. I'll give them each a card that says socks are coming, but that they just didn't get done. They're big girls, they can deal with it. :o) I also need to make my little brother a hat, and I would like to at least get that done before Christmas. I'm ready to be done with Christmas knitting. I want to make something that I want to make, instead of things other people want!

I haven't posted FO pics in awhile, and I have lots. I"ll try to remember to take some pictures today. I've got four or five pieces to share, I just hate uploading photos from my camera to the computer.


Okay, 'nuff for now. I need to start updating more regularly, I've been terrible lately!